Jay-Z, Beyonce lead Grammy nods

Hip-hop slant this year, judging by nominations

December 05, 2003|By Jim Abbott | Jim Abbott,ORLANDO SENTINEL

Grammy voters apparently don't watch American Idol, but they are big Beyonce Knowles fans.

The Destiny's Child singer garnered six nominations for the 46th annual Grammy Awards yesterday, a leading total shared with retiring hip-hop superstar Jay-Z, inventive rap duo OutKast and ubiquitous producer Pharrell Williams.

Beyonce and Jay-Z are among contenders for record of the year for their collaboration on "Crazy in Love." The song will compete in that category against the Black Eyed Peas-Justin Timberlake song "Where Is the Love?"; Coldplay's "Clocks"; OutKast's wildly infectious "Hey Ya!"; and Eminem's Oscar-winning "Lose Yourself," off the 8 Mile film soundtrack.

Timberlake's solo debut, Justified, will vie against OutKast's brilliant Speakerboxxx/The Love Below for the coveted best album award. Rounding out the field is Elephant by rock duo the White Stripes; Fallen, by rising female-fronted rock band Evanescence; and R&B star Missy Elliott's Under Construction.

Beyonce is poised to become the second woman in two years to dominate the awards, which will be televised live Feb. 8 on CBS (WJZ-TV Channel 13) from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Last year, Norah Jones emerged over Bruce Springsteen and Eminem to execute a surprising sweep.

This year's slate of nominees leans heavily toward R&B and hip-hop, genres that have been slow to receive mainstream recognition from traditionally older-skewing voters of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The members vote on awards in more than 100 categories.

Eminem, who lost in the best album category in 2001 to Steely Dan, is among nine acts with five nominations.

Others with five nods are Missy Elliott, Evanescence, rapper 50 Cent, producer Chad Hugo, country singer Ricky Skaggs, Luther Vandross and Timberlake.

The Wind, the final album from rocker Warren Zevon, also garnered five nominations.

Given the Grammys' weakness for commercial stars, perhaps the biggest surprise was that American Idol's Clay Aiken was snubbed. There was speculation that his TV fan base might propel him to multiple nods. It didn't happen, although another Idol alum, Kelly Clarkson, was nominated in best female pop vocal performance for "Miss Independent."

Nor did rap sensation 50 Cent's multiplatinum lock on the album chart warrant inclusion in the best album category, an indication that the rough material didn't sit well with some conservative voters.

For Timberlake, whose popularity with 'N Sync never amounted to much Grammy recognition, the multiple nominations represent industry credibility for his solo career.

Though obviously derivative of Off the Wall-era Michael Jackson, Timberlake's Justified was a commercial success that generally played well with critics. Beyonce's Dangerously in Love yielded the dance-friendly radio hit "Crazy in Love," though the album's overblown ballads were less appealing.

Nominations for best song, a songwriter's award, went to Linda Perry for Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful"; Richard Marx and Luther Vandross for Vandross' "Dance With My Father"; and Avril Lavigne and the Matrix for Lavigne's "I'm With You."

Others in that category are Jorge Calderon and Zevon for the latter's reflective "Keep Me in Your Heart." Zevon died from lung cancer at age 56 on Sept. 7. "Lose Yourself" also gained a nomination for collaborators Jeff Bass, Eminem and Luis Resto.

Evanescence, which went multiplatinum with Fallen, also is nominated as best new artist along with 50 Cent, alt-pop band Fountains of Wayne, dancehall singer Sean Paul and Trinidad-born R&B singer Heather Headley.

Erykah Badu, Willie Nelson, conductor Jose Serebrier and singer-guitarist Jack White had four nods each. White's included one individual nod in addition to three with the White Stripes.

In the country album category, Up!, by Shania Twain, got a nod; as did Cry by Faith Hill; My Baby Don't Tolerate by Lyle Lovett; Run That By Me One More Time, Willie Nelson and Ray Price; Live and Kickin, Willie Nelson; and Livin, Lovin, Losin: Songs of the Louvin Brothers, various artists.

Pop stars Moby, Sarah McLachlan and Dido were among a group of musicians who announced nominations yesterday in Los Angeles. Moby was the most entertaining presence, commenting on his personal favorites and changing the title of Barbra Streisand's The Movie Album to "how to defeat our current inept president" as he read the list for traditional pop vocal album.

The Orlando Sentinel is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

Grammy nominations

Nominations in top categories for the 46th-annual Grammy Awards announced yesterday (award winners will be announced Feb. 8):

Record of the Year: "Crazy in Love," Beyonce featuring Jay-Z; "Where Is the Love?" Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timberlake; "Clocks," Coldplay; "Lose Yourself," Eminem; "Hey Ya!," OutKast

Album of the Year: Under Construction, Missy Elliott; Fallen, Evanescence; Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, OutKast; Justified, Justin Timberlake; Elephant, The White Stripes

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